For her part, Rose says she's wanted to voice a Disney character—any Disney character—all her life. "It's miraculous that I was able to land this role not being an Oscar® winner or some major headlining person," she says. In her determination to land the part, Rose says she brought in about 10 different songs for the audition. "In my mind, this was mine. This part was for me, so I wasn't giving any kind of leeway for them to say, 'If only we could have heard...' No, whatever you could have heard, I was bringing it.'"

Known mostly for her theater work and her role in Dreamgirls, Rose says doing an animated film was an entirely different beast. "It's like accessing your inner child. You're creating every moment there is—if you are jumping on the trampoline in the movie, there's no trampoline in the studio, you're jumping up and down. If there's a dragon breathing down your neck and you have fire in your ear, nobody's lighting a match behind you," she says. "You really have to let go of what is considered acceptable and normal in society and just go further than your friend would think was okay if you were driving down the street together. You know, if you were in the mall with one of your friends and you did some of this stuff, they might call 911. They might get you a real snug jacket."

So despite early criticism, for now Rose is simply asking fans and critics alike to reserve judgment on The Princess and the Frog until the movie's December 11 release. "I love the movie," she says. "I would love for people to see the movie. It's very difficult to base thoughts on something that hasn't been seen yet."

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